ANGLET, Les Dunes, France (Friday, May 9, 2008) – Round 3 of the Oxbow WLT pres. by Orange started at Noon at Les Dunes, South to the main venue of Les Cavaliers, in clean two to three foot (0.5 to 1 meter) waves and light off-shore wind. With the high tide not allowing any surf at Anglet, twelve heats were done today and eighteen remain before the champion is crowned.
Taylor Jensen (USA), 24, was the man of the day when he advanced through to Round 4 posting the highest heat score of the Oxbow WLT with 19.40 pts (out of a possible 20). Jensen, ASP World Longboard Tour No. 3 in 2006, defeated former World No. 2 Kekoa Uemura (HAW) with the full longboard repertoire, from roundhouse newschool cutbacks to long classic nose rides.
“My strategy this year is to go out and have fun at every heat,” Jensen said. “It was an ideal set-up for me, a perfect righthander opening all the way to the shore so I really enjoyed it. We don’t have a lot of warm-up sessions with the waves not breaking at high tide so I stayed out until the last seconds.”
Jensen, who now stands as a favorite for the Oxbow WLT crown, showed he was ready to break records today and will surf Round 4 confidently.
“We were both having a good time out with Kekoa who is a good friend of mine but I got the better ones and I just hope this year the title can be mine.”
Antoine Delperro (FRA), France’s best hope for the crown at his home break of Anglet, got through a tricky heat against event veteran Alex Salazar (BRA) in Heat 11. Delpero, 22, who placed fifth last year in the Oxbow WLT, leads the new generation of longboarders on the 2008 ASP World Longboard Tour.
“It is a big relief to win this one against Salazar,” Delpero said. “He is a very tough competitor and knows how to deal with man-on-man tactics very well so it was stressing for me. There were fewer waves in that heat and I focused a lot on my wave choice.”
Delpero, who aims at his maiden ASP WLT title at Les Cavaliers this year, ended up with a solid 14.90 point heat tally (out of a possible 20) to advance.
“At this stage of competition I am looking at eights and nines,” Delpero said. “It was a tight heat and I was very careful not to fall or sink my rail too deep and lose speed. I am stoked to get through but I will have to step up for Round 4.”
Matthew Moir (ZAF), 30, last South African surfer in the Oxbow WLT, was a winner as well in the perfect French Basque waves of Anglet today, winning Heat 6 over Grant Thomas (AUS) to secure his Round 4 ticket.
“I had an excellent warm-up in South Africa and won the national longboard championships so I came here confident,” Moir said. “The waves were very tricky during my heat and I had to have a good choice but it went well in the end.”
Moir, who is still chasing a maiden ASP World Longboard Title, is definitely focused towards this year’s couple of events starting with the Oxbow WLT in Anglet.
“It is a big step up for us all to have two events this year,” Moir said. “We used to have one event only and if you did not do good there was no back-up option. This year we will have a second chance and I am stoked to see things change for the sport.”
Duane De Soto (HAW), 30, who has been among the world’s best longboarders for a decade now, easily advanced to the last 16 surfers’ Round 4 and offered a more relaxed competitive style today to take the best over fellow Hawaiian surfer Ned Snow (HAW).
“It is always special to surf against a fellow Hawaiian in competition,” De Soto said. “You always want to win but we had a balanced heat and it was fun. In the end, the priority for me is to get through and I did so I am happy.”
Reigning ASP World Longboard Champion Phil Rajzman (BRA), Eduardo Bage (BRA) and Danilo Rodrigo (BRA) all managed to get through to Round 4 as well with no difficulties meanwhile Josh Constable (AUS) was the only one of the big names to lose at Anglet today. With two days remaining in the waiting period, the Oxbow WLT champion will be crowned Sunday, May 11.
The Oxbow WLT pres. by Orange is LIVE on www.oxbowpro.com and showcases the world’s best longboard action from Anglet, France.
All news, photos and videos on www.oxbowpro.com and www.aspworldtour.com
UPCOMING ROUND 3 HEATS
Heat 13: Bonga Perkins (HAW) Vs Troy Mothershead (USA)
Heat 14: Harrisson Roach (AUS) Vs Thimothee Creignou (FRA)
Heat 15: Jackson Close (AUS) Vs Jared Neal (AUS)
Heat 16: Colin McPhillips (USA) Vs Kai Salas (HAW)
ROUND 3 RESULTS
Heat 1: Harley Ingleby (AUS) 17.50 pts Def. Cole Robbins (USA) 12.75 pts
Heat 2: Eduardo Bage (BRA) 15.00 pts Def. Tom Lloy (USA) 12.20 pts
Heat 3: Jamie Viudes (BRA) 12.45 pts Def. Ben SKinner (GBR) 11.15 pts
Heat 4: Carlos Bahia (BRA) Def. Michel Demont (PYF)
Heat 5: Taylor Jensen (USA) 19.40 pts Def. Kekoa Uemura (HAW) 13.60 pts
Heat 6: Matthew Moir (ZAF) 12.90 pts Def. Grant Thomas (AUS) 9.65 pts
Heat 7: Duane De Soto (HAW) 14.35 pts Def. Ned Snow (HAW) 13.00 pts
Heat 8: Phil Rajzman (BRA) 13.90 pts Def. Alexis Deniel (FRA) 12.10 pts
Heat 9: Danilo Rodrigo (BRA) 13.75 pts Def. Dino Miranda (USA) 11.25 pts
Heat 10: Amaro Matos (BRA) 15.25 pts Def. Josh Constable (AUS) 14.25 pts
Heat 11: Antoine Delpero (FRA) 14.90 pts Def. Alex Salazar (BRA) 11.95 pts
Heat 12: Romain Maurin (FRA) 12.50 pts Def. Bryce Young (AUS) 11.65 pts (ASPWORLDTOUR:10587)